There are few shots more daunting than playing an approach from a fairway bunker. The thought can send a shiver up the spine of the most confident golfer, and Myrtle Beach, perhaps not surprisingly, is home to more than a few courses with a surplus of sand.
Let’s start by dispelling a myth, playing from a bunker doesn’t always have to be difficult, but if you fear the sand, here are five courses where it’s hard to avoid.
— Golf’s greatest champion, Jack Nicklaus, made judicious use of sand and waste bunkers at Long Bay Club, most famously on the 10th hole. The short par 4 features a fairway surrounded by a horseshoe shaped bunker. It’s Long Bay’s signature hole but it’s not the only one significantly impacted by sand.
— Five years ago, Shaftesbury Glen wouldn’t have sniffed this list, but the installation of 500,000+ square feet of waste bunkers – part of a two-stage renovation project – changed all that. There is as much sand at Shaftesbury as there is any course at the beach. On the bright side, the waste bunkers are flat and easy to hit out of, so they shouldn’t significantly impact your score.
— The late, great Mike Strantz was a shooting-star on the architectural scene and his work at True Blue Golf Club (pictured right) has been recognized as among the nation’s best. Strantz’s use of waste bunkers are one of the course’s defining characteristics. The chance of not playing from the sand at some point during a round at True Blue is low.
— Founders Club is almost entirely devoid of cart paths and the course’s elevated fairways are framed by waste bunkers. A trip to Founders Club (top photo) almost guarantees you will venture into the sand, so be prepared.
— The Fazio Course at Barefoot Resort is as sandy as it is challenging, particularly on the back nine. Unlike a layout like Shaftesbury, where playing from the sand isn’t overly penal, the bunkers at the Fazio Course are where dreams of par go to die.